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Spanish 21
Spanish 21

Spanish 21

The game of Spanish 21 is very similar to blackjack and has very liberal rules for players. Because of this, at some casinos the Spanish 21 tables actually have a lower house edge than the blackjack tables. If you already know how to play blackjack, Spanish 21 is a breeze to learn, and a simplified “basic strategy” for the game is included here along with advice for using the surrender option. Let’s take a look at some of the sites offering Spanish 21 Blackjack. Remember that we have tried and tested all these sites and the number one consideration is safety of your money. We are confident you will enjoy playing Spanish 21 at the below sites.

Spanish 21 is played with a deck of 48 cards, the tens have been removed (not the face cards). The removal of the four tens gives the house a substantial edge and there are no card counting systems that work well on the game, but several favorable rules are usually included on games, so the overall result is good for the player.

In most cases the game is played from a six-deck shoe although the game is also found with eight decks. Some casinos have standard Las Vegas Strip rules and stand on any seventeen; some casinos hit soft 17. Other rules may vary from property to property, but the following list exemplifies the good rules you are likely to find.

In fact, when the dealer stands on soft 17 with the liberal rules, the house edge is less than ½ of a percent (.5%). When the dealer hits soft 17 but redoubling is allowed it is still under ½. If the dealer hits soft 17 and redoubling is not allowed, the house edge is about ¾ of a percent (.75%).

Excellent Spanish 21 Rules

Late Surrender – available after the dealer checks for blackjack. The player benefits by being allowed to give-up or surrender half their bet and end the hand instead of being forced to play a dangerous hand like 16, 17 or a pair of 8’s against a dealer up-card ace.

  • Surrender after a double down with double down rescue
  • Player 21 automatically wins
  • Player blackjack beats dealer blackjack
  • Double down on any number of cards
  • Double down after splitting
  • Re-splitting of aces allowed
  • Double down after splitting aces
  • Redoubling of already doubled hands (Ace-five/double/catch a three/double again!)

Player Bonuses

Always check the rules at the table you choose, but several bonuses make Spanish 21 unpredictable and fun.

  • Any five-card 21 pays 3 to 2
  • Any six-card 21 pays 2 to 1
  • Any seven-card (or more) 21 pays 3 to 1
  • Three-card hand of 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of mixed suits pays 3 to 2
  • Three-card hand of 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of the same suit pays 2 to 1
  • Three-card hand of 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 in spades pays 3 to 1

Larger Bonuses

Three-card suited 7-7-7 when the dealer has a 7 face-up pays $1000 if the player’s original wager is $5 to $25. When the player’s wager is $25 or more, the bonus is $5000. There is even an envy bonus for other players on the game of $50!

Match the Dealer

The Match the Dealer side-bet is very popular, mostly because it hits on a regular enough basis to be fun, and also because the house edge is small, about 3%. The wager is optional, can be played for $1, and pays any time one of the player’s first two cards match the dealer’s up card. In a six-deck game, a non-suited match pays 4 to 1, and a suited match pays 9 to 1. In an eight-deck game, a non-suited match pays 3 to 1, and a suited match pays 12 to 1. A match is rank for rank, such as a 7 and a 7, or a king and a king.

Strategy

The strategy for playing Spanish 21 is similar to basic strategy at standard blackjack, but there are a few variables. A few of those include using the surrender option when holding 16 and 17 against an ace and also when holding 8,8 against an ace. When redoubing is allowed, a double-down hand that now totals 6 through 11 should be doubled again against any dealer up card of 2 through 7.

If the dealer’s up card is 8 through ace, redouble on 8, 9, 10 and 11. If the player holds 6, 7, or 12 through 16, instead of redoubling, the hand should be surrendered. It happens, but it’s better to take the half-loss now, than risk losing more on a very poor hand.

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